Cry, Laugh, or Fight: The Impact of the Advertising Image and Disease Target Match on Consumers’ Evaluations of Cancer Advertising


Correspondence regarding this article should be sent to: Kimberly A. Taylor, Associate Professor of Marketing and Macy's Retail Chair, Department of Marketing, Florida International University, 11200 SW 8th St., RBB 306B, Miami, FL 33199 (


Cancer detection and treatment is now a huge part of the health care system, and many cancer charities and organizations advertise heavily in various media. However, from pink ribbons to yellow wristbands, marketing spending and imagery are vastly different between diseases that primarily affect men and those that primarily affect women. Yet, the ways in which consumers react to specific marketing images when used in cancer-related advertising, and the importance of the congruence between the disease and the ad image have been under-researched. This paper explores these research questions in two studies and finds significant differences in ad evaluations by image and gender of the disease target.